Advertisement

reduce (v.)

late 14c., reducen, "bring back" (to a place or state, a sense now obsolete), also "to diminish" (something), from Old French reducer (14c.), from Latin reducere "lead back, bring back," figuratively "restore, replace," from re- "back" (see re-) + ducere "bring, lead" (from PIE root *deuk- "to lead").

In Middle English largely with positive senses, including "bring back to virtue, restore to God; bring back to health." The specific meaning "bring to an inferior condition" is by 1570s; that of "bring to a lower rank" is by 1640s (military reduce to ranks is from 1802); that of "subdue by force of arms" is from 1610s. The sense of "to lower, diminish, lessen" is from 1787. Related: Reduced; reducing.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of reduce from WordNet

reduce (v.)
cut down on; make a reduction in;
reduce your daily fat intake
Synonyms: cut down / cut back / trim / trim down / trim back / cut / bring down
reduce (v.)
make less complex;
reduce a problem to a single question
reduce (v.)
bring to humbler or weaker state or condition;
He reduced the population to slavery
reduce (v.)
simplify the form of a mathematical equation of expression by substituting one term for another;
reduce (v.)
lower in grade or rank or force somebody into an undignified situation;
She reduced her niece to a servant
reduce (v.)
be the essential element;
Synonyms: come down / boil down
reduce (v.)
reduce in size; reduce physically;
Synonyms: shrink
reduce (v.)
lessen and make more modest;
reduce one's standard of living
reduce (v.)
make smaller;
reduce an image
Synonyms: scale down
reduce (v.)
to remove oxygen from a compound, or cause to react with hydrogen or form a hydride, or to undergo an increase in the number of electrons;
Synonyms: deoxidize / deoxidise
reduce (v.)
narrow or limit;
reduce the influx of foreigners
Synonyms: tighten
reduce (v.)
put down by force or intimidation;
Synonyms: repress / quash / keep down / subdue / subjugate
reduce (v.)
undergo meiosis;
The cells reduce
reduce (v.)
reposition (a broken bone after surgery) back to its normal site;
reduce (v.)
destress and thus weaken a sound when pronouncing it;
reduce (v.)
reduce in scope while retaining essential elements;
reduce (v.)
be cooked until very little liquid is left;
The sauce should reduce to one cup
Synonyms: boil down / decoct / concentrate
reduce (v.)
cook until very little liquid is left;
The cook reduced the sauce by boiling it for a long time
Synonyms: boil down / concentrate
reduce (v.)
lessen the strength or flavor of a solution or mixture;
Synonyms: dilute / thin / thin out / cut
reduce (v.)
take off weight;
Synonyms: melt off / slim / slenderize / thin / slim down
From wordnet.princeton.edu